“Do not do what you would undo if caught” Leah Arendt Why is it a home buyer has so few options against a home seller when it is believed the home was fraudulently and intentionally misrepresented? Is it because, “Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. ” Plato There should be a new law to protect the home buyers interests. As in the auto industry the “Lemon Law” was created to protect auto buyers. So should there be a law to protect vulnerable and innocent home buyers.
The “Lemon Law” in summary is defined, “The manufacturer, not the dealer, takes are of the defects (State Lemon Law). In my proposed law, the seller, not the buyer, would take care of intentional disclosures of defects. A solution that would protect the home buyer from bogus acts and dishonesty a “raw deal” when buying a home. A law and order that would make the seller responsible for what is proven to be fraudulent and dishonest misrepresentations.
There should be a developed and implemented policy created that would define the responsibility for; detection, investigation, and reporting of dishonest and fraudulent activity and would outline specific nstructions regarding what should be done when fraud is suspected. I am At a home I once previewed I found a large entertainment center in the master bedroom covering two thirds of a wall. It struck me as odd at the time. Why would this massive piece of furniture be in a bedroom? As I turned to leave the room something caught my eye.
I saw what looked like textured paint on the wall. Upon closer examination I realized it was paint that had tiny cracks over various portions of the wall and in places the paint was curling at the cracks. I concluded the problem was possibly from previous water damage. I didn’t say anything, but most importantly, neither did the seller. Sellers who try to cover up major problems, defects and flaws in the home by intentionally using large items, such as furniture are dishonest and fraudulent practices. The buyers recourse could be my proposal: The “Sushi Law”.
Gary Reeser, inspector with G. A. R. Home Inspection told me about a sellers home he had inspected for a client. As he was inspecting the home for the buyer he went past the kitchen and noticed the seller emptying the dishwasher. He said he didn’t think anything about it either, at the time, until e went to inspect the appliances in the kitchen and the dishwasher didn’t work. When he questioned the sellers about the dishwasher not working they had told him they only store dishes in it, because it didn’t work.
Gary felt if he had not inspected the appliance, because the impression was given the appliance worked, the buyer would have had a “raw deal”. He felt the buyer would have been stuck with either fixing the appliance or replacing it all together once the defect was discovered, after the deal was signed and sealed This “raw deal” that should be included in the proposed law could state: the eller is responsible to detect and repair or replace any appliance that is not functioning properly, when the appliance is attached or connected to any part of the home, before a sale is finalized.
Items intentionally manipulated to make them look as though they are in working order could be cause to make the sale null and void or be negotiated, at the buyers discretion. The buyers recourse again could be my proposal the “Sushi Law”, section II, Appliances. Consumers are taken advantage of and given a “raw deal” by the seller when information is either omitted or exaggerated. Two good examples are faulty wiring, a very dangerous situation when information is concealed, and the true age of the roof. Two areas that are commonly concealed from the buyer.
Both problems could potentially become a major expense for the buyer in a relatively short time. Areas, according to Gary Reeser, that a home inspector does not routinely inspect (interview). One of the benefits of a fraud policy is to minimize exposures to the dangers associated with mishandling suspected wrongdoing. In effect, the “Sushi Law” could eliminate the need for the consumer to hire a costly attorney, hich according to The National Law Journal, 43% of consumers say lawyers charge too much for their services ( pg ) My proposal could effect the buyers change purse greatly in the long hull for justice.
Instead of hiring an attorney the proposed law could be brought up in small claims court saving the consumer a considerable amount of money. The new home owner would not have the expense of fixing previous owners problems and could move on The proposal would effect the seller by enforcing them to be held responsible o correct any intentional fraud occurrences that were concealed from the potential buyer. The seller would also be responsible to sell the home without major defects.
They would be ordered to have any problems corrected along with any other restitution deemed appropriate. I can see some objections the seller would have to my proposal because there are programs that do protect the consumer that are already in effect today. The Fair Housing Act, is one such program, however it is limited to protection from discrimination in housing because of race, national origin, eligion, sex familial status and handicap (HUD). Another such protection program is the purchase of a home warranty.
The warranty is a service contract that sellers often purchase as a marketing incentive for their home. The warranty covers the cost of repairing or replacing kitchen appliances, mechanical and electrical systems. The seller pays the annual premium, which covers everything that is working the day of the closing, and for a year after. Should something go wrong, the buyer is only responsible for the service fee which is like an insurance deductible of around $ 35 to $ 85 The only problem I see here is I had never heard of a seller offering this program to a potential buyer.
Upon contacting my Realtor, Pamela Dickker from Nothnagle, she stated “There are very few sellers that offer the warranty program. Most buyers are unfamiliar with the program unless the home for sale is over 150,000. 00” (interview). In my dealings with home sellers, it would be my opinion to solve the sellers eagerness to commit fraud, if fraudulent activities were found, to be made liable to not just repair but replace the defect, pay a restitution to the buyer of 1000. 00 per $ 10,000. 0 value of the price of the home for sale and not allow the party to sell another home for 20 years.
These measures, however would prove to be inappropriate based on the criminal activity involved. There is such a thing as an honest mistake for which even sellers are a victim When making an investment as large as buying a home, there has to be protection for the buyer. They are the innocent victim against a seller that knows the home inside and out. An injustice that goes on far too much in “There is no twilight zone of honesty in business.